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Egypt

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Despite Egypt's incredibly low cost-of-living, it's not exactly a hotbed for ESL/EFL academy work. The British Council is the biggest game in town, and though their packages are certainly liveable, they don't have many positions advertised. There used to a language academy in Cairo called ILI who offered CELTA certification, as well as English classes. They, to the best of my knowledge, are now defunct. AMIDEast, an employer in the region who does not tend to offer expatriate contracts (or many full time opportunities) is another prominent name. The reality is that the economy in Egypt coupled with the average salary means that most Egyptians cannot afford to pay for a class that would involve paying a native teacher a competitive rate. Furthermore, outside the government schools, there are countless language and international schools. Many Egyptians, as a result, are attending English-medium schools making the need for language academies almost non-existent.

OpportunitiesEdit

This doesn't mean that there are no teaching opportunities for the CELTA and cert TESOL holders out there. Many of the language schools and some of the international schools will hire native speaking BA holders to teach children anywhere from 4-18 years of age. You might be teaching English and History, or perhaps you'll be a class teacher for the younger kids. At any rate, you'll need to be cut out for working with kids which requires an immense amount of good classroom management skills and patience. The younger children (up to about age 13) are lovely. I found the high school kids in Egypt are more than a handful, and many of these language schools that are truly businesses first struggle to properly discipline. After all, you don’t want to make your customers (i.e. the parents) too angry!

Required qualificationsEdit

CELTA or the equivalent is not required for many of these positions, but it certainly helps in the classroom. The schools that would hire a ESOL teacher with not teaching qualification do not provide stellar packaged, but they often involve reimbursing you for your flight to and from Egypt (if they haven't provided the ticket up front), shared accommodation (water and electric typically paid by the school), paid summer salaries (usually), and a liveable wage that allows you to enjoy life in Egypt. Most of them pay in Egyptian pounds, though one or two international schools offer the wages in USD, or perhaps a supplement to your salary of USD or sterling. You should be able to find employment from anywhere between 3000-10,000 LE, depending on your experience and the type of school. Finding foreign currency in Egypt is difficult at times, so if you are hoping to send home money to pay your student loan, I would caution anyone before taking a job with the employers who only pay in local currency. If your goal is not to save or send money home then proceed with caution.

Research your employerEdit

Be sure to do LOTS of research into your prospective employers, though. Ask to have some existing teachers contact you, and do research online to see if anyone has posted their experiences regarding the prospective employer. Like with any job, if they’re hiring you with limited credentials and experience, you do have to accept that the school is a not a top-notch organisation. They are trying to put forward a western face and accent in order to draw in parents, but as mentioned above, they are businesses expecting to turn a profit. The best thing you can do is be flexible, and take the Egyptian style of management in stride. If you can look at the cons and trade them out for the wonderful pros of living in a country like Egypt, you’ll do fine.

Egypt forumEdit

ELT World forum

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